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As have many other folks, I've been writing about this for quite awhile. Now, per the I.R.S., it's "official..."

Richest one percent take home record share of US income in 2012
Associated Press and Al Jazeera
September 10, 2013 1:26PM ET

New analysis of IRS data finds that income gap has widened to its highest levels

The income gap between the richest 1 percent and the rest of America widened to a record last year, new analysis has found.

The top 1 percent of U.S. earners collected 19.3 percent of household income in 2012, their largest share in Internal Revenue Service figures going back a century.

U.S. income inequality has been growing for almost three decades. But until last year, the top 1 percent's share of pre-tax income had not yet surpassed the 18.7 percent it reached in 1927, according to an analysis of IRS figures dating to 1913 by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University.

One of them, Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, said the incomes of the richest Americans might have surged last year in part because they cashed in stock holdings to avoid higher capital gains taxes that took effect in January.

Last year, the incomes of the top 1 percent rose 19.6 percent compared with a 1 percent increase for the remaining 99 percent...

Other facts:

• In June 2009, since the "recovery" began and the recession "ended," 95% of income gains reported to the I.R.S. have gone to the 1%. Compare that to the 45% of income gains that went to that population segment during the economic expansion of the 1990's.

• In 1932, the top 10% earned 46.3% of income; in 2012 they "captured" 48.2% of income.

• To qualify for the top 1% of income earners in 2012, you had to make more than $394,000 last year; to make it into the top 10% your income had to be above $114,000.

I'd gladly provide you with activist links to more effectively express your outrage (i.e.: something other than signing a petition or writing a letter to the editor), but, as we now know, that attempt to exercise your constitutional rights would could undermine your efforts to pass a background check for a job!  [SEE: “2011 Gov’t Report Confirmation: DHS, Banks Gathered Key Intel On OWS From Daily Kos, Other Sites” (4/4/13)]


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START UPDATE 9-11-13 2:30AM:

Columbia University Journalism Professor Thomas Edsall published an excellent column over at the NY Times' Opinionator Blog, about three hours ago, where he asked four political science professors (Adam Bonica of Stanford, Nolan McCarty of Princeton, Keith T. Poole of the University of Georgia and Howard Rosenthal of New York University) to provide “...possible reasons why the U.S. political system has, during the last few decades, failed to counterbalance rising inequality.”

Can the Government Actually Do Anything About Inequality?
Thomas B. Edsall
Opinionator Blog
New York Times
September 10th, 2013    11:22PM

....The four political scientists offer five “possible reasons why the U.S. political system has, during the last few decades, failed to counterbalance rising inequality”:

•    An intellectual and ideological shift within both political parties toward “acceptance of a form of free market capitalism which, among other characteristics, offers less support for government provision of transfers, lower marginal tax rates for those with high incomes, and deregulation of a number of industries. Financial deregulation, in particular, has been a source of income inequality.”

•     “Immigration and low turnout of the poor have combined to make the distribution of voters more weighted to high incomes than is the distribution of households. Turnout, of course, can also be influenced by legal and administrative measures that make it relatively costly for the poor to vote.

•     “Rising real income and wealth has made a larger fraction of the population less attracted to turning to government for social insurance.”

•     “The rich have been able to use their resources to influence electoral, legislative, and regulatory processes through campaign contributions, lobbying, and revolving door employment of politicians and bureaucrats.”

•     “The political process is distorted by institutions like gerrymandering that reduce the accountability of elected officials to the majority. Other political institutions, including a bicameral legislature with a filibuster, combine with political polarization to create policy gridlock, which in turn inhibits efforts to update social safety nets and regulatory frameworks in response to changing conditions.”

There's much more to this than the small excerpt I'm providing, above. It's well worth the read!

END OF UPDATE.


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Here are a couple of links to my most recent posts on the state of our economy, as well as the efforts being made by our government to "fix" this travesty...

Joe Stiglitz' Scathing NYT Takedown: ‘Why Janet Yellen, Not Larry Summers, Should Lead the Fed’” (9/7/13)

Krugman: ‘Years of Tragic Waste.' (U.S. economic policy since '08: '...horrifying failure.’)” (9/6/13)


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Here's my latest post, from February, on Emmanuel Saez' and Thomas Piketty's work, referenced in today's news and blockquoted above: “Saez & Piketty Income Inequality Update: Top 1% Have Received 121% of Income Gains Since 2009” (2/13/13)

And, if you click on THIS LINK you'll access another half-dozen posts (I've published more than this) on the subject of U.S. income inequality and the work of Saez and Piketty.


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Originally posted to http://www.dailykos.com/user/bobswern on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 02:38 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Income Inequality Kos, and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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